March 23, 2011
JCCV Contributes to Government Crackdown on Homophobic Intolerance
22 March 2011
JCCV president John Searle today applauded the Victorian Government for its intended introduction of legislation this week, providing for $7,000 fines for adults who misinform children that homosexuality is wrong.
Searle had met with new Attorney-General Robert Clark soon after Clark’s appointment and had proposed this very innovation. He noted that he was extremely gratified with the hearing he had received and delighted that the Government was on the same page and that prompt action has been taken.
According to Searle, the significance of this legislation is that it will educate the community about appropriate behaviour and encourage adults to consider their actions and their duty of care to others.
Searle stated, “It is well established that homophobic intolerance can cause serious harm to developing brains. It is incumbent on older people, particularly those in roles of responsibility, to educate children about human sexuality and also to act as role models in regard to their own behaviour. If we expect young people to change their attitudes, we really need to focus on adults.”
“According to Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA), gay, lesbian and bisexual people attempt suicide at rates of up to 14 times those of their heterosexual peers,” Searle added. “This groundbreaking research announced in 2009 sets a benchmark for understanding the extent of this grave problem, all too prevalent in our community, perpetuated by too many adults.”
“SPA cautions that those belonging to religious faiths that promulgate negative discourses about homosexuality are particularly vulnerable to suicide and self-harm. They also warn that conflicts between spiritual or religious beliefs and sexuality can result in significant psychological dissonance as well as division and exclusion from family, friends and community.”
The JCCV established a GLBT Reference Group some two years ago that has focused on revealing the issues affecting GLBT people in the Jewish community in response to pressure that the JCCV was directly contributing to this problem. This Reference Group has been seen as a whitewash and smokescreen to date but if taken seriously by the JCCV has the potential to actually achieve some useful outcomes.
For further information, contact John Searle, JCCV President, on 0412251344.
1 SPA: Suicide and self-harm among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Communities
September 10, 2010
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. A lot of people are seriously trying to save a lot of people’s lives. On the surface this looks like a genuine effort, and for the most part it is, but look a little deeper and not everything is as rosy as you’d like to think.
Suicide Prevention Australia endorses the Salvation Army in their attempts to curb suicide. Yet the Salvation Army does not believe homosexuality is acceptable. In fact the Salvation Army does not even acknowledge same-sex attracted people as an at-risk group on their Suicide Prevention Resources & Information page, despite rates of suicide amongst same-sex attracted youth currently reaching alarming levels.
Read my recent and unanswered letter to Ryan McGlaughlin, CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia. I urge you to write to him as well and ask him the same questions as I do. Why does SPA continue to endorse the Salvation Army, an organisation with homophobic attitudes that are harmful to same-sex attracted youth? Why is Suicide Prevention Australia staying silent on this matter?
SPA need to speak out loudly against the Salvation Army and any other organisation that is intolerant of homosexuality. Until then they can’t be seen to be serious about preventing suicide.
May 4, 2010
Bobby and Danny are dead. They were victims of religious bigotry. They were someone’s sons and now they’re dead. They’re dead because their families didn’t understand them and let them suffer and die horrible, miserable lonely deaths. Their families believed they were doing the right thing because of their own selfish religious beliefs.
Bobby Griffith (died 1983 aged 20) and his mother Mary
These deaths were all avoidable. If the families of these boys told them they loved them irrespective of their sexual orientation they would probably still be alive today, living happy, fulfilling lives. But they’re gone, forever. Their memories live on, but that’s a poor compromise. These were normal boys. They deserved better of their families.
Ask yourself if upholding your religious beliefs is worth the death of your children. In 2009 Suicide Prevention Australia released research that showed people who experience same-sex attraction are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. This statistic is frightening. Add to this that the situation is exacerbated in religious communities and you have a recipe for disaster.
You owe it to your children to ensure they receive the most loving, accepting environment possible. Religious intolerance is guaranteed to harm them. This is proven. The only way to overcome this is to overcome your prejudices and accept them for the wonderful people they are.
Remember Bobby and Danny and don’t let your children become statistics like them.